Wondering what the costs of owning a dog are?
Adding a new furbaby to your household doesn’t have to completely empty out your wallet month in, month out! It’s not the kind of thing you can just save up for and be done with either. There will be ongoing expenses and your budget will need to accommodate these.
To help prepare you for the real cost of owning a dog, we’ll break down all expenses to consider including special costs for anyone suffering from allergies.
Making sure you account for these expenses is an important part of ensuring you’re a responsible dog owner.
Obviously there are ongoing costs to owning any kind of dog, hypoallergenic or not. But if you’re an allergy sufferer, it’s likely you’ll need to fork out a fair bit more than others would to bring a new pet into your home.
Let’s make your home environment more allergy-friendly even with a furry friend around!
Breakdown of Costs
The decision to bring a dog into your home can sure come with a hefty price tag at the start! Dogs tend to cost more than other types of pets do, including cats.
Here is a handy breakdown of typical costs and what to expect. You’ll notice the biggest costs are related to unexpected health issues. Vet costs for dental work, surgery and ICU care are high.
Just as you might consider health insurance to protect yourself in future, we suggest looking into pet insurance for your dog as well. It can definitely help you save more down the line!
|Type of Expense||Est. One-Off Cost||Est. Yearly Cost|
|Initial Fees to Buy or Adopt||$50 -$2000+|
|Initial Vet Visits for Necessary Vaccinations||$100-$300|
|Neutering or Spaying||$150-$700|
|Extra First Year Puppy Expenses||$500 - $1800|
|Rehab for Adopted Dog||$25-$150|
|Allergen Reducing Appliances + Resources||$50-$600|
|Food and Treats||$250-$700|
|Leashes, Collars, ID Tags||$20-$50|
|Dog Training Resources||$25-$100|
|Medication and Supplements||$100-$500|
|Pet Insurance||$300 - $1200|
|Type of Expense||Est. One-Off Cost||Est. Yearly Cost|
|Dog Walking* ($20/day for a dog walker, or free if you walk your dog)||$0-$5200|
|Pet Sitting (per trip calculation)||$100-$300|
|Emergency Care & Surgery||$500-$5000|
Ongoing Costs of Owning a Dog
Many of these costs are shared by owners of both hypoallergenic and non-hypoallergenic dogs alike. The difference for you as an allergy sufferer is often in ensuring the minimal spread of allergens throughout your home.
If your dog has allergies too, then you might need to find hypoallergenic products for your dog!
Here are the costs to consider as well as specific information to guide your decision for an allergy friendly home environment.
Initial Fee to Buy or Adopt
The first expense that you’ll encounter is the buying or adoption fee.
Typically is it cheaper to adopt than to buy a dog from a reputable breeder. In most cases of adoption, owners have reported saving on other initial fees, like vet expenses and training, as shelters usually take care of many of these before they list adoptable dogs.
There are, however, other advantages to buying a dog from a reputable breeder. Especially if you need certification and papers or if you prefer a purebred dog.
In these cases, we suggest you spend the extra money on buying from a reputable breeder rather than a backyard breeder or a pet store. Not only will it cost you less in the long run, as the dog will be healthier, it’s also the right thing to do to end puppy farming and other questionable or unethical practices.
In either case, acquiring your new fur baby can cost you as little as $50 -$200 at a local shelter or upwards of $500 – $2,000 from a breeder. Prices vary and depend on a huge number of factors.
Dogs that tend to cost more:
- Small dogs
- Purebred dogs
Factors influencing initial cost:
- Level of prior care
Initial Vet Bills and Routine Check-Ups
One of the first things you should do after getting your dog is to visit a vet.
If you are adopting a dog, some shelters include a free or discounted first visit. Some breeders may offer a similar bonus though it is less likely.
In either case, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
Depending on whether your new fur baby needs vaccines, preventative medication or any special treatments, the first visit can cost anywhere from $50-$300.
Routine vet visits are also necessary though costs vary depending on the health of your dog. These can be expected to be around $50-$200 for a general check-up with additional expenses for medication and follow up visits for dogs with chronic illnesses.
Extra Puppy Expenses
No matter the breed, the first year of puppy parenthood can be costly. Gosh, do we know!
Initial vet bills for younger dogs and newborn puppies often run higher and can depend on where you live. Puppies also need to visit the vet every few weeks during the first 16 weeks which can each cost between $100-$300 per visit depending on what your puppy needs.
All puppies need a slew of vaccinations and other medical procedures, like spaying or neutering. Some of these may have been taken care of by the previous owner, though some may not have. If not, you can expect to pay anywhere between $150-$700 for these.
Bottom line: The first year of puppy parenthood costs almost double the typical annual cost of owning a dog.
Extra Expenses for Rescue Dogs
Pets can sure be full of surprises!
When it comes to your rescue dog, some of them may also be a tad on the expensive side. Unknown trauma and behavioural issues may mean that you’ll need to invest in ongoing training and management.
Also, certain types of environments can be stressful to rescue dogs, even if previous dogs haven’t had an issue with them. Making necessary adjustments so your pup feels at home won’t always be free for most people.
Before choosing to bring a dog home, check with the rescue shelter if the dog has been through any socialization training or rehab prior to being listed for adoption. This could be a sign that there may be other hidden traumas that may crop up down the line.
The biggest expenses of owning a dog come down to unexpected medical bills. For instance, large active dogs may experience injuries to their knees and hips. Surgery can cost over $5,000 to fix such issues.
All dogs suffer health risks with dental bills being another major cost.
In short, if your dog faces a serious health issue for which any type of surgery or medical procedure is necessary, you’ll be looking at a bill in the thousands of dollars.
A smaller procedure can cost around $2,000 though if your dog needs to be under intensive supervision or held at the vet’s facilities, you could expect to pay $200-$500 per day not including the cost of the surgery.
You have two options to help reduce these expenses, pet insurance and care credit cards (credit cards specifically designed to cover routine and emergency vet expenses).
That’s where pet insurance comes in.
If you want to ensure the health of your dog without breaking your bank account while you’re at it, pet insurance can help you save in the long run.
Just as you take out health insurance for yourself and your family, pets deserve the same cover. Depending on your pet insurance policy, your dog could be covered for most types of unexpected illnesses or injuries, including dental work.
Essential Dog Supplies and Training
Another ongoing expense is for essential dog supplies that will make puppy parenthood a whole lot easier!
These can include:
- Dog food
- A solid leash
- A collar
- A dog bed
- Dog grooming products
Obedience classes and training resources are also going to come in handy if you’re new to puppy parenthood!
Dog Food Costs
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to feed your dog the best food you can afford. As far as the cost for supplies goes, food is going to be one of the biggest ongoing expenses and boy can dogs eat!
It’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount on this cost as it depends on the size and energy level of your dog. Costs can start from $20-$60 a month though can run up over $100 per month for special foods.
If you’re going to splash out on something for your dog, healthy food and treats are the most deserving. Not only can you keep your dog healthier longer, but you will also stand less risk of having to fork out thousands of dollars for medical issues and chronic conditions.
Dog Shampoo and Grooming Products
Meticulous dog grooming is super important if you want to avoid the unnecessary spread of allergens in your home.
It’s also important for your dog so that they don’t bring environmental allergens they might be allergic to into their beds.
Different dogs need different kinds of grooming practices. At the very least, we recommend looking into dog wipes, dog shampoo, dog toothpaste, hair trimmers and nail clippers. These could cost between $30-$200 in total.
The cost of a dog bed runs between $50-$200. You have the option of cheaper, generic dog beds or, if you want to treat your dog to some extra comfort, hypoallergenic and orthopaedic dog beds are also available on the market.
It is super important that you keep your dog’s bed clean and use laundry detergents that are safe for dogs. The pH of dog skin is different from human skin and it can react even to the mildest of washing detergents designed for humans. That’s why we suggest looking for a detergent that is made for dogs specifically.
If you take your dog outside often, consider investing in wipes to clean off any external environmental allergens, like grass and pollen. Not only do these get trapped in the dog’s hair, they also get embedded into your dog’s bed and can trigger skin allergies in your dog. Not to mention yourself!
Leash, Collar, ID Tag & Toys
At least one sturdy leash, collar and ID tag are needed. These are fairly low-cost items that you can find for around $20-$50 and can last you many years with proper care.
Toys can also be low-cost items, unless, like some of us, you like to indulge in new cute dog toys! These can cost around $25-$150. Even though toys may seem like an unnecessary expense, they are important for your dog’s mental stimulation and exercise.
Two scenarios where you may spend more on toys:
- If you are an indulger and can’t resist a cute toy when you see one
- If you have a destructive dog that goes through toys like there’s no tomorrow (look at investing in toys designed for ‘tough chewers’ if this fits your scenario).
Most dogs will only need to go to obedience school in their first year or two. If you have adopted an older dog, you might be lucky and have avoided many of the ongoing training expenses needed.
Shelters often incorporate training and socialization as part of what they do to care for the dogs in their custody until they find a forever home.
Even with an older dog, however, we suggest incorporating some element of training throughout your dog’s life. Generally, setting aside a budget of $25-$300 per year is enough.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, training your dog on essential behaviours, like not to lick you, can really go a long way towards reducing allergic reactions in your home.
Dog Walking & Sitting
Dogs need daily exercise and, like medical expenses, this can add up to a fair bit if you pay for a dog walking service. You can expect a cost of around $20/day.
If you choose to walk your dog yourself, that’s a cost you can save!
Similarly, on the pet minding side of things, if you have friends and family who can look after your dog, no worries!
Otherwise, you could be looking at paying $100-$300 for a couple trips per year. If you travel more frequently, this could rack up your expenses substantially.
Another free alternative for long term travel is to offer a pet sitter to live in your house for free while you’re away. In exchange, they will look after your dog and take care of all the things you usually would!
Expenses for Combating Dog Allergies
As an allergy sufferer, you can expect there will be extra costs of buying equipment that will help reduce the presence of allergens produced by the dog in your home.
These can include:
There can be an initial cost between $50-$600 depending on which you might already have in your home. Sometimes, you may be able to upgrade the filtration level of your existing appliances. A new attachment for a vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for pet hair and dander may also be a cheaper alternative than buying a new vacuum cleaner.
Remember to stay on top of cleaning and replacing filters as needed!